It happens every year. In lieu of using a simple business transaction to reaffirm their fealty to Christ, Our Lord and Savior, the heathen clerks of secular big-box stores instead restate that infamous phrase destined to destroy us as a people: "HAPPY HOLIDAYS." Instead of wasting your valuable energy reciting Bible verses or committing time-consuming property damage, we at The Memphis Institute of Christology have devised ten clever replies to this two-word phrase, sure to remind the recipient that God's unconditional love requires complete and undisputed submission.
- Grab several packages of gum from nearby shelves. (If shopping in a gum-free environment, be sure to bring your own from home and hide it in your shirtsleeves.) When you hear "Happy Holidays," dump all of your gum in front of the clerk, and say, "You know what this is? A lot to chew on. You know what else is a lot to chew on?" When your question is inevitably met with a look of confusion, say "The Unending Torment of Hell" while cramming as much as the gum into your mouth as possible. (Note: Cinnamon gum or gum with a devil/demon mascot is recommended.) Begin reciting popular prayers around this mouthful of gum until you are asked to pay for the gum/leave.
- Remind the clerk of the True Meaning of Christmas with one of many Holiday-themed Jack Chick tracts. Recommended: "Ho, Ho, Hell," "Yes, Virginia, There Is Eternal Suffering," "Death Gift," "Rudolph, The Unholy Pagan Idol," "Three Wise Men/Three Doomed Souls," and "Whoops, You're Catholic!"
- Find a veteran in the busy Christmas shopping season line behind you. Anyone that looks over 90 will do -- if they didn't serve in any war, they'll at least think they did. (Note: Avoid veterans of recent wars, as they tend to be armed, desperate, and eager.) Remind the clerk that the veteran's best friends didn't die just so they could hear a different pairing of words after digging out their checkbook and being reminded of what year it is. If someone starts crying -- even out of confusion -- you've done your job.
- Search the store for a decidedly non-Christian or "ethnic" item. After you purchase your Jewish potato muffins or Muslim bean paste and hear that infamous phrase, demand to see the store's equal representation of Christian culture. Where is the living nativity scene? Where is the woodcut of Elisha commanding God to have bears devour 42 misbehaving children? In the parking lot, feel free to construct your own pillar of driveway salt to help hammer home your point about hypocrisy.
- Dress yourself as Jesus Christ -- remember, he's white, with blue eyes and an immaculately groomed beard. If a clerk dares to utter anything other than "Merry Christmas" to this depiction of the Son of God, immediately hang your head and mumble, "Guess you guys don't need me around after all. I'll just take this Everlasting Salvation somewhere else, I guess." Mope out to the parking lot and disappear into the wilderness. Do not stop for autographs.
- Casually search the clerk for the Mark of the Beast that designates their enrollment in the Obamacare program. If this brand is not found on any visible skin, ask if you can return your items and pay with your walletful of Amero, the Satanic currency of the U.N.'s One World Government. If these statements still don't provoke any reaction, ask if you can receive a discount using your ALCU Lifetime Membership Card. (Note: This card doesn't exist, so be sure to run, shoving over several end caps behind you, if you're asked to present it.)
- Bring a portable globe with you and pull it out when you hear "Happy Holidays!" Then, ask the clerk to point to the country we're in, and when they do, say "I THOUGHT this was AMERICA!" while glaring at them knowingly. Some clerks in certain Southern states may need assistance with this task.
- Reply with "Are they? ARE they?" while rallying the people in line behind you to repeat this expression. Since most chants typically aren't interrogatives, you may find it more effective to transform this unified statement into something a little more catchy, like "Hell no! We won't go! Home without hearing Christian affirmation at the point of purchase!"
- This works best in a hardware store, but bring two large planks of wood along with a hammer and nails to the register. When the Glory of God's Love receives no attention, immediately construct a crude cross and begin nailing yourself to it with the help of a friend, family member, or like-minded customer. You won't have much time before the paramedics arrive, so begin shouting "THIS! THIS! THIIIIIS!" until you either pass out or die.
- Find a store that employs one of "Santa's Helpers," and abduct him with a common, household gun. March this impostor into line, and when the clerk dares to say "Happy Holidays" to his tear-stained, quivering, gin blossomed face, threaten to blow his brains out then and there if the management doesn't submit to the unending bliss of God's Special Friendship. Following this, be sure to decorate your solitary confinement cell with red and green magazine pages from your liberal prison's library. If they don't have the guts to give you the death penalty, they at least deserve to suffer the discomfort of seeing a True Christian basking in the soon-to-be outlawed Reason for the Season.